Queen Elizabeth II, Britain’s longest reigning monarch died peacefully at Balmoral, the royal residence in Scotland, surrounded by members of her family at 96, the Buckingham Palace announced late on Thursday. The end of a reign that lasted for over 70 years. Queen Elizabeth served as the head of the Commonwealth, one of the largest intergovernmental groups in the realm comprising of fifty-six member nations on six continents.
With her death, her eldest son Charles, the former Prince of Wales, will be the heir apparent to the British throne, the new King would be the head of state for 14 Commonwealth states.
Following the death of the queen, the statement from the King read:
The demise of my beloved Mother, Her Majesty the Queen, is a moment of greatest sadness for me and all members of my family.
We mourn profoundly the passing of a cherished Sovereign and much-loved Mother. Her loss would be deeply felt throughout the country, the realms, and the Commonwealth, and by innumerable people all over the world. During this period of mourning and change, my family and I would be comforted and sustained by our knowledge of the respect and deep affection in which The Queen was so widely held.
Pope Francis pays tribute to the Queen Elizabeth ‘life of unstinting service’
Pope Francis said that he would willingly join all mourning her loss in praying for the late queen’s eternal rest and in paying tribute to her life of unstinting service to the good of the country and the Commonwealth, her illustration of devotion to duty, her steadfast witness of faith in Jesus Christ and her firm hope in his promises.
President of the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales Cardinal Vincent Nichols of Westminster paid tribute using many of the queen’s own words.
On 21 April 1947, on her 21st birthday, Princess Elizabeth had said, that her whole life, whether it be long or short, shall be devoted to service, Cardinal Nichols said.
The cardinal mentioned Queen Elizabeth’s Christmas message from the year 2000, in which she had said the teachings of Christ and her own “personal accountability before God” gave her a framework of how to live, and that Christ’s words and the example offered her great comfort in challenging times.
Cardinal Nichols said that this faith, so frequently and so eloquently stated in her in the public domain messages.
It has been an inspiration to him, and he was sure it was to many as well, he said. The wisdom, service, and steadiness, which she continuously exemplified, often in situations of extreme difficulty, are a shining legacy and testament to her faith.
He also offered prayers for His Majesty the King, as he undertakes his new office, even as he mourns his mother.
President of the Bishops’ Conference of Scotland, Bishop Hugh Gilbert applauded Queen Elizabeth for her life of ”outstanding and dedicated public service.”
The bishop said that her determination to remain active to the end of her long life has been an example of Christian leadership, which demonstrated her great stoicism and commitment to duty and was absolutely a foundation of stability and continuity in times of momentous change.
Scotland’s Catholic bishops would remember her in their prayers and pray for all those who mourn her loss, he said.
Anglican Archbishop Justin Welby of Canterbury said that as the country grieve together, the country has lost the person whose steadfast loyalty, service and humility has helped through decades of extraordinary change in the world, nation, and society.
Queen Elizabeth died 17 months after the death of her husband, Prince Philip the Duke of Edinburgh, who died in April 2021 at age 99. The Queen’s 73-year marriage to Prince Philip was the longest of any British sovereign.
The U.K. has come into a 10-day period of mourning.
Elizabeth was born on April 21, 1926, at Greenwich Palace, the daughter of the Tudor king Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn. She ascended to the throne on February 06, 1952.
The accession of 1952 created 2022 the year when the longest-serving monarch in British history celebrated the platinum jubilee of her reign, the time Elizabeth had lain on the British throne for over 70 years.
The queen was able to observe the commemorations in her honour but offered over all her community responsibilities to her closest relatives. She received Prime Minister Liz Truss in Scotland on September 06, 2022, when she was last photographed.
Starting with Sir Winston Churchill who served as Conservative Prime Minister twice from 1940 to 1945, fourteen prime ministers served during her reign and Liz Truss was the 15th to greet her in that office.
For the duration of her reign, Queen Elizabeth met with four popes, Francis Benedict, John Paul II, and John XXIII, and as a monarch she met Pope Pius XII.
She served as a constitutional monarch, the British head of state and Commonwealth, head of the British armed forces and the supreme governor of the Church of England.
In her personal life, she was a mother four children, a grandmother of eight, and a great-grandmother of eleven children.